MIAMI — Anxiety over President Donald Trump’s executive order on travel issued Jan. 27 has many communities on edge. 

In addition to the seven nationalities whose travel is restricted by this law — Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Sudanese, Libyans, Somalis and Yemenis — one community in particular has been set on edge following the advice of an attorney. And they are not from those countries.

At a recent immigration forum hosted by an Episcopal church in Miami Gardens, attorney Dahlia Walker-Huntington addressed what she saw as a potential dilemma for Caribbean nationals, particularly those previously convicted of crimes or remaining outside of the United States for extended periods of time.

“If you are a green-card holder and you were arrested, even if you were not convicted or even if the case was dismissed, do not travel, as you may be caught and be unable to return," Walker-Huntington said at the forum according to an article in the Atlanta Black Star. 

The Florida Record attempted to contact Walker-Huntington, but was unable to secure any response.

David W. Caulkett, vice president and founder of Floridians for Immigration Enforcement, spoke with the Florida Record about the executive order and its fate.

“Trump's first EO (executive order) was indeed flawed because of the restrictions on permanent residents, but of course the 9th District went overboard in the stay," Caulkett said. "I'm guessing permanent residents won't be screened in the second EO.”

A second executive order is expected to be coming within a week.

Caulkett said that Huntington’s comments about the first order were accurate, but if she intended to include the as yet unannounced second EO, her warning was ill applied.

Marlon Hill, past president of the Caribbean Bar Association, explained on a website dedicated to Jamaican and other Caribbean nationals living in the United States that reentry is not guaranteed for any resident. 

“While the President’s Order is directed only to nationals of the seven listed countries, reentry to the United States is not guaranteed for any lawful permanent resident," Hill wrote. "Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents have the discretion at all times to question U.S. citizens or permanent residents coming from the above seven countries or from any other country.”

Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) states that the president has full discretionary power over the borders. The section reads:

“Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

As a result, the law has been used in the past by other presidents.

Since its inclusion into the INA in 1952, the section has been used by President Jimmy Carter to prevent Iranians from coming into the United States. President Ronald Reagan used the law five times, President George H.W. Bush used it once, President Bill Clinton used it 12 times, President George W. Bush relied on it six times and President Barack Obama utilized it the most, at 18 times.

Caulkett said that the 9th Court’s stay was purely political and the court had made a fool of itself, but the ruling cannot be dismissed by the Trump administration.

“Apparently, (the administration) is going to have to appeal the stay of the 9th because there is a precedence in there and if they don’t appeal it that precedence, which basically says the President does not have the right to restrict inflow into the country, that could stick around," Caulkett said.

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